DR 127: iQuantifi–Interview with its Founder Tom White

Tom White iQuantifi InterviewRobo-advisors are all the rage today. These online tools help automate investing, from picking an asset allocation plan to buying the mutual funds or ETFs to rebalancing. What they don’t do, however, is help us with broader financial planning tasks. Enter iQuantifi.

Founded by Tom White, a former financial planner and investment advisor, iQuantifi is trying to do to financial planning what the robo-advisors are doing to investing. iQuantifi is a goals-based online financial planning tool. It can help you plan short and long-term financial goals (e.g., retirement, education, buying a home) and track your progress toward each of your goals.

For this reason, I asked Tom to be a guest on the podcast to share his vision for iQuantifi and to describe how it can help us better plan our finances. Check out the audio of the interview or read the transcript below.

iQuantifi – Tom White InterviewRob: Tom, welcome to the show.Tom White: Well thank you Rob. Thanks for having me.

Rob: I’m glad to have you on the show. I’m a sucker when it comes to new technology and tools that can help us manage our money so I’m very much interested in hearing about iQuantifi. Before we get to that though, so that folks have an idea of who you are, why don’t you tell us about yourself.

Tom White: Prior to founding iQuantifi I was a financial planner and investment advisor for over 17 years. I started out my training at American Express Financial Advisors which is now Ameriprise. I actually had a franchise with them back in 2001. At the time I started my practice was when I made the decision to focus on comprehensive planning which haunts me now. But, 17 years later it leads to iQuantifi. In 2002 after I sold my first practice I went back to private practice and set up my own RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) called Cap Partners.

That’s where iQuantifi came from essentially with the idea of trying to reach more people through an online platform as opposed to building and setting up office in different parts of the country because at that point, back in 2006 when I first came up with the idea, we had already had clients in about a dozen states. So, without necessarily opening up offices in those other cities is simply because we got referrals. Thinking about how to expand that and take it beyond that, the answer was technology. But at the time, there was not a software platform that could aggregate accounts until 2009. That’s when we decided to pursue Quantifi, come up with a name and spin it our partners. Last year I sold my IRA firm to focus on iQuantifi.

Rob: So you’re in— Sorry, go ahead.

Tom White: This was my first whole year in terms of just working on one business.

Rob: So when it comes to iQuantifi, you’re all in? You’ve pushed all your chips onto the table and sold your IRA business—

Tom White: Figuratively and literally.

Rob: Okay. Obviously iQuantifi is a website, a tool. Do you have programming background or have you hired folks to build this for you? How did you get started down that path?

Tom White: To a certain extent I look back and think it shouldn’t have taken this long because I’m not a programmer. I simply came up with the idea and back in ’06— I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and one of my buddies is actually in the technology field and he owned a tech company. I asked him if it was doable to automate the financial planning process based on what I had in mind and he said, yes. There were still some components missing at the time that would have made it very difficult for a user to input all of their data because everything had to be manually done.

Rob: When you talk about aggregation, it’s the idea that people can link their credit cards, checking accounts. Is that what you mean?

Tom White: Yes.

Rob: One question I have about that. In fact, I’m going to have another guest on the show who is a security expert. I’ve had a lot of listeners email me wanting to know if it’s safe. The feel uncomfortable whether it’s linking through mint.com or Personal Capital. As tools like iQuantifi grow, there are many, many options out there where you can link all of your accounts. Behind the scenes I think they pretty much all use similar security technology not only in terms of linking any accounts but also in terms of how many different thing they have to sign up for where they’re linking all their stuff. I’m curious of what you think about that generally. Then, how does iQuantifi keep folks information secure?

Tom White: Yes. I can’t speak for the other sites but in terms of iQuantifi, the first thing to know is that all the information is read-only. We don’t custody any money at this point in time so no funds actually pass through the iQuantifi system. You can’t even move money within it. You have to go outside of the site to wherever the institution is. So it’s read-only.

Second, we have the highest security standards in the industry. That’s what makes it a secure website where users should not be concerned about their assets. In addition, it’s also anonymous. We don’t know who you are. We don’t ask who you are. There’s no social security or any confidential information that we ask for. We only ask for information that’s needed to essentially generate a client and advice for you to achieve your goals.

Rob: Okay, Okay so you’re a CFP. You’ve obviously been in the business a long time—

Tom White: Actually I’m not a CFP. That’s for the record

Rob: Oh. Okay. I’m sorry I made that assumption. Well then when you started the RIA did you take the Series 65? Or how did you do that?

Tom White: Yeah. So, I’m licensed with Series 7, 65, 24, 63. I believe those are my licenses. And then obviously I have an insurance license with the state of Tennessee and Hawaii.

Rob: Well, you have all these credentials and the background. What led you to sell your RIA and start iQuantifi? What were you trying to help people do?

Tom White: With my former advisory firm, everything about iQuantifi came from that. It was essentially trying to automate what I did as a financial partner and investment advisor into an automated platform, and knowing that with technology we could scale. And with the fact that we were able to automate the planning process when no one else had. It separates us from other advisors that only deal with investments because our main mission is actually help people achieve their goals. It’s not about improving their financial situation. It’s actually achieving their goals, because at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

Rob: Okay, so how does iQuantifi help people do that?

Tom White: One, it starts off when you simply log in and tell us a little bit about yourself. Once we know what your demographic is, whether you have kids, whether you’re married— the system intuitively already knows some of the goals that you should have. For example, if you have minor children, it creates college goals for those kids and you don’t have to create it. You can fine-tune that goal in terms of assumptions about what state you plan on having the child go, based on the school. Or even if you plan on only funding half of their education because you want them to have a part-time job, you know, those type of things. Everybody else will have retirement as a goal.

And you know, these things the system sets up on the user’s behalf, they can always delete it and tell us it’s not important—that they don’t want to achieve it. But it’s intuitive in that it’s one less thing the user has to set up. In regards to if you have a dependent, whether is a spouse or kid, the protection planning is already going to be included in terms of recommending reputable firms, insurance firms, in this case. If somebody has earned income than disability will be applied for as well to protect your income. So there are very intuitive things already in the system and then the rest is simply asking you what goals you want to achieve from buying a house or car to having a vacation, travelling.

And where iQuantifi helps the user is, once you’ve told us what goals you want to achieve what the amount of the goal is for certain things like a house and also the timeframe, it’ll calculate all of that to determine how much you need for each goal, based on the timeframe, based on the resources that you have from the stand point of the assets and cash flow, then determine what your shortage is. It may say, “Hey, you need to save $500 a month for this child’s education.” And if you did that, based on assumptions, you should reach the goal as you have identified it. So that’s the first component of the advice is the funding based on your assets, whether you have assets to fund it in one time or based on your cash flow on a monthly basis.

Rob: Okay.

Tom White: The second part to the advice is one of our patents called, product structure technology where it would actually recommend the specific accounts that the user should use for that particular goal. It’s one thing to tell you to save $500 a month for college, but the next questions is, “Okay, where should I save it?” Should it be in a money market account? Considering the kid is may be only 3-years-old maybe has 15 years to go, or should it be in a UTMA (uniform transfers to minors account) account or a 529 plan? So the structuring identifies what the specific product is.

Based on retirement, how much you need to save and what accounts you have, it’ll advice you on funding in your 401k plan, if you have it and your employer has a match to capture that as well as to open up a Roth or a traditional IRA based on your income level. The third component is essentially the investment advisory. For longer term goals, mediums to longer term goals, it’ll recommend specific funds to invest in. Whether it’s for college, a retirement or even buying a house 3 years out. If you have a goal of buying a house it’ll tell you to save $1,000 a month for the down payment and it’ll tell you to open up a brokerage account and then which specific—in this case a bond fund is going to be recommended.

Right now we have 3 types of investments coded into the system. Actively managed mutual funds, index funds and ETFs. So based on what the investor’s experience has been as to which of those they’ve had the most experience in, is the one that it’ll recommend knowing that chances are they’re more comfortable with that. And that’s where they’d be willing to take action.

Rob: In terms of investment, those recommendations will be based on information you collect from each user> In other words, to understand whether they prefer actively manage or passively manage investments?

Tom White: Yeah. We’re agnostic with regards of the type of investments. I’ll make a distinction here on investing in iQuantifi. Investing in iQuantifi is not about beating the market. It’s about achieving their goals. So for every goal, for every timeframe, there are assumed rates of return already coded into the software. What we’re trying to do is identify quality investment positions that we know have had the track record of meeting, if not exceeding, the assumptions that the goal requires for the user to meet that goal. So, it’s not about beating the market.

I’ve got numerous stories, but really, at the end of the day what matters to people is whether they meet their goal or not. One story I like to tell all the time is, I was licensed in 1997 so I was managing money in 1999 basically the last year of the dot com era before the bear market followed it. And in 1999 we had a client invested in a particular mutual fund that returned 170 percent. There were many funds that actually returned over 100 percent in 1999. But the fact that we returned 170 percent to this one client in one year, I’ll tell you— 15 years later we don’t talk about that. They didn’t say, “Hey Tom, that was so great,” or whatever. Or the fact that in 2008 I invested in VISA when it went public in March of 2008 at $44 a share.

Today it’s at today is at $240 and they’ve more than quadrupled their money. People don’t talk about that. What they talk about is— two years ago the same client that owned that same fund in 1999, retired and we talk about the fact that we were able to help him meet that milestone. That’s what matters to people. Whether they’re able to buy the house, whether they’re able to pay off that liability, whether they’re able to protect against something unforeseen. It’s these that matter most. Not how much return you got in, because most investing advisors know that making money for clients is your job anyway. It’s a little bit of a catch-22 because is expected.

Rob: Right. Let me kind of dive in a little deeper here. I’ll leave screenshots of some of your sites so people have sort of a visual. Obviously, they can go to your website too, but let’s take investing for retirement for example—

Tom White: Yeah.

Rob: You’re going to know from information the user inputs, their age, when they want to retire, so you know how many years they have left before they hit retirement. You’ll know their preference in terms of types of investment, at least between ETF’s, index funds and actively managed funds, so you kind of put all that together and recommend an asset allocation with specific investments to execute on that plan?

Tom White: Yes.

Rob: And then it’s up to them to actually go do it. So, as you said at least, at the moment you’re not going to take custody. Or this is not an RIA at this point?

Tom White: No. We are an RIA. We’re a SCE registered RIA. We have to be able recommend to them—

Rob: To make the recommendations.

Tom White: Right. And that’s why we don’t manage money in-house right now. So yeah, it’s correct that right now you can go and create an iQuantifi account but you would have to implement that outside of the system. That’s part of our product road map, to actually build that in, but that takes times and we are in negotiations and discussions with various investment firms to be able to provide that capability.

Rob: Right. And obviously that asset allocation plan is going to change depending on how much time someone has left until they retire and you’ve sort of programmed that all into your system?

Tom White: Yeah. Bear in mind though that right now on the, ‘who will our customers be?’ side, we target young families and millennials. Those in their 20s and 30s. The need to reallocate as they get close to retirement? That’s still decades down the road so we’re not too concerned about that. It’s more about the important, particularly with this demographic is simply, one, for them to know how much they need to save. That’s the key. In fact, there are folks that don’t even know how much they need for a particular goal such as retirement.

That’s why they’re concerned about whether they’re spending too much at Starbucks because they feel guilty to spend whatever that amount is because they’re not sure if they’re saving enough. So the first thing is to know what that is. The second thing is based on what the amount is. It will then prioritize to say something like, “Okay. Fund your 401k up to its match. If your need is beyond that for retirement, then go and fund a Roth or traditional. The system will recommend which one based on your income. Then after that, continue to go back into the 401k and fund the max for that program, if your need it there.

Rob: Right.

Tom White: Our target audience is all about right now just putting systems in place for them to have these systems work for them such as monthly drafts and payroll deducted saving like a qualified 401k. People think they are not reaching their goals because they don’t have the right investments. That’s not it. It’s because they don’t know how much they need for each goal and they don’t know then how to prioritize it. The value in iQuantifi has to do with the fact that you’ve got young families with kids at the stage in their lives where they’re buying stuff whether it is a car, a house, furnishings. And again, they’ve got loans. They’ve got things that they need to save up for. They don’t know how to do it all because they’ve got multiple things that they’re trying to juggle and compete for resources. That’s what iQuantifi does. It helps them prioritize it. That’s why it’s not only a calculator, it’s really an intelligent software platform.

Rob: Well, let me ask you about that because I get that question a lot— should I save for retirement? Should I pay down my debt? Should I save for a home? What order should I do these things in? How does iQuantifi help folks prioritize?

Tom White: In iQuantifi, when you add a goal or add an account, once that goal icon lands on the timeline and asks you to save your “new plan” because you have a new scenario, if it enables it to land on the timeline where you don’t get a shortage message, that means that you have enough resources, based on how you input your income and expenses and so on, to fund and address that goal. If there’s a shortage it means that you don’t have enough resources. This will be the first time in which you’ll actually be prompted to adjust your expenses.

We don’t ask people to budget first and then figure out how much they have left for the goals. We do it in reverse. Your goals come first and if the system is able to solve it based on whatever discretionary income you have, then so be it. Go live your life. But if not, then yes, that’s when we will then ask you— Actually, the cash finder (one feature of the software) will recommend specific expenses to adjust and free up that cash flow to apply to your goals. So, in terms of how it prioritizes? That’s our secret sauce. That’s the crux of the core system in determining how to fund all of these in what order. And that order is very much based on financial planning principles. But, if you don’t get a shortage message that means that you can do it all and that’s point.

Rob: Well, let me throw out a specific example and tell me how this would work. This is my own personal example. Of course saving for retirement. The only debt that we have is our mortgage. One of the questions I basically try to answer every single month is, do I pay off my mortgage ahead of time? If we assume that, in iQuantifi, my wife and I are on target to have enough to retire based on what we have and what we’re saving each month, and we have money left over, would iQuantifi than recommend that we take any money in excess of what we need to meet our retirement goals to pay on our mortgage?

Tom White: Well, if your only other goal other than paying off the mortgage is retirement, then yes. But, if you have other goals such as you need to replace a car in two years or you want to buy another house and so on—it depends on the other goals.

Rob: Right.

Tom White: So making the assumption you’re on pace for retirement. All your other goals are on pace to fund. There are no shortages anywhere that you’ve got to allocate cash or capitol and you still have extra cash flow, then yes, priority is to apply that to the mortgage— if obviously, you don’t have any other debt, right?

Rob: Right. Well my only other goal besides those two is to see the Ohio State Buckeye’s win the National Championship but I don’t think iQuantifi can help me with that… I’m sorry.

Tom White: Yeah, unless you can quantify how much it’s going to take money-wise to do that.

Rob: Yeah, well it’s not going to happen this year. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cut you off. Alright, so that makes sense.

Tom White: That’s a custom goal.

Rob: That’s a costumed goal, right? Another one get is that a lot is folks have multiple debts. They have a car loan. They have credit cards, school loans. Does iQuantifi help them figure out which debts they should pay off first if they have excess money over and their minimum payment, where they should allocate that?

Tom White: Yes it does in the sense of using anything beyond what’s needed for their goals. I’m going to make a distinction here because this is a key philosophy at iQuantifi that I tell the team. That is not a goal. Not at iQuantifi. We consider it an obstacle. In other words, especially where we’re based in Nashville, Tennessee there’s a big focus on being ‘debt-free.’ Of course, the definition of that ranges from somebody who still has a mortgage to somebody who doesn’t. But, if somebody wants to pay off all of their liabilities first and not do anything else to address other goals, then iQuantifi is not for them.

It’s for somebody to say, pay off their debts. I mean, who could argue with that? I tell clients tell all the time. You tell me you want this debt paid off? It’s bad advice for me to tell the client not to. Yet, if you have another goals, let’s take a look at the bigger picture because the whole point to the fact that you have debt is that’s keeping you from funding your other goals. If you didn’t have debt, you’d have more resources to actually save for retirement, save for college, save and build up that emergency fund, right?

So we consider it an obstacle. And the purpose of the software is, because is so intelligent, it can actually figure out not only how can you address the debt in the proper order, in the proper timeframe, but also address other goals as opposed to just dealing with the debt and then not even addressing the goals until the day in which the last dollar is paid off on the balance of the debt.

Rob: Right.

Tom White: I’ve also seen that time and time again, those who are so focused on paying off debt that, that’s really their only goal. The day they become debt-free, they end up going back into debt because they haven’t considered really the true goals in life. So thinking beyond the debt really focuses you on what you should be working towards.

Rob: Right.

Tom White: Now what I would tell you is that we’re working on an additional feature to be able to work with specific institutions that focus on paying off debt in which the system can take it another level by helping somebody improve their credit score. And certain things that need to be paid down or paid off, the system will be able to make those types of recommendations to put that user in a position to qualify for a certain type of loans. That’s a very specific type of scenario for a specific type of consumer.

Rob: Right. And built into this is— I notice this with life insurance for example, because there’s a life insurance goal and you guys help folks calculate how much life insurance they need, right?

Tom White: Yes.

Rob: Obviously based on reasonable assumptions for folks to use, is there a rule of thumb for life insurance? If I make $100,000 a year, I’ve got two kids and a wife, I’m 35-years-old, how much life insurance should I have?

Tom White: No. Not from me at least. A lot of other sites obviously have to use a rule of thumb to where you put in the $100,000 numerous times. But, no. Ours is very specific to you. What’s important to factor in is the debt that you have. Because, if something were to happen to you… Actually, this is the first question I ask clients or I’ll ask your spouse, “If something happened to him, what would you like to have happen?” And you say you want the mortgage paid off so you don’t have to service that debt and you want to make sure there’s enough assets for college that you don’t have to save for every month which is usually funded out of life insurance proceeds because it’s relatively cheap.

So it’s these types of assumptions that the software asks you. Or actually, not really asks you because we already know that if you have a 10-year-old child how much of a lump sum is going to be needed to fully fund their college, that’ll already be factored in into the calculation for life insurance. It’s those type of specific calculations to come to what the amount is. Now, other than knowing, say you need a million dollars life insurance, that’s not good enough. Because, if that’s only amounts you get, you’re prone to getting sold insurance policies from the VUL to a whole life to a who-knows-what. So, part of structuring technology is knowing your age, you’re available cash flow and what specific type of insurance policy is more suitable to you.

Rob: Now VUL. Don’t tell me. Is it Variable Universal Life?

Tom White: Yes. Sorry, that’s a little ‘advisor’ speak there.

Rob: Nice. No, no, that’s okay. I’m just trying to keep up. Does the same thing happen with the retirement goal? Do you have tools to help folks figure out how much they’ll need to save and how much they’ll need when they retire?

Tom White: Yes. Our software deals with expenses, not income. Because when you retire, the question obviously is, how much income are you going to need and what are the sources for that income? What’s driving that are your expenses. As a rule of thumb, sites out there that say, if you’re making $100,000, generally you can knock off 70 percent of that. That’s like $70,000 in today’s dollars. I would argue that presumes somebody making $100,000, their expenses are so $70,000 today. And that may not be the case. I mean, we know many instances where people are making $100,000 and spending $105,000, right?

Rob: At least.

Tom White: Yeah, at least. It’s all about the expenses. With something like retirement though, you know, our target market is 30 plus years out, this is why a software platform is key to be able to update their situation, because as in any plan, the minute that you produce one, it’s outdated. With our technology— it’s dynamic. It updates and continues to update every month, every year, to know then how you’re pacing towards that goal and any changes that happen. For example, your monthly expenses may be $5,000 a month, $60,000 a year when you created your iQuantifi account. And year later you have a second child and now your expenses are $7,000. So the retirement scenario will know that and adjust accordingly based on certain assumption like knowing that some expenses will drop off as well such as those having to do with children. So it’s that dynamic to where it’s able to forecast, but it’s really more about keeping your plan updated continuously.

Rob: Right, right. What haven’t you guys thought of? You seems like you’ve thought of just about everything but what are your plans for the future?

Tom White: So what I can share with you is that we’re into this thing where we’re focused on being able to roll out the software for advisors to use and where this user-interface on the timeline is something that financial advisors can use in communicating with other clients in terms of their goals as well as in terms of providing continuous advice. As an advisor, I’m not looking to replace the role of an advisor. It’s simply that for this target market advisors are not addressing it. It’s not profitable for them so we’re here to fill that need. But somebody that comes into the system that’s worth several million dollars, iQuantifi is not going to be the first to say, “Go work with a trusted advisor.” So yeah, we’ve got numerous phases to our business plan. It’s one step at a time focusing on what our marketability is right now which is really helping the millennials. And also, we’re focused on offering our solutions to institutions.

Rob: Okay. How much does this cost for folks to use?

Tom White: I’m sorry, how much…

Rob: How much does iQuantifi cost for someone to use and to use as a financial planning tool?

Tom White: Yeah, so somebody comes on to iQuantifi.com. It’s free for 30 days and then after that they can pay $9.95 a month or $89 for the year.

Rob: Okay.

Tom White: And that’s it.

Rob: And it’s fully functional? Folks are signed up and are using it now?

Tom White: Yeah, there are thousands of users in the system and more every day.

Rob: Wow, okay. Well what haven’t I asked you about, that folks ought to know?

Tom White: When I first started iQuantifi it was unique. Maybe not so now, but ours is entirely about goals. Our approach to personal finance and investing is about goals because that’s what matters. That’s what I believe people are working towards. Why they work so hard every day is to be able to pay off their debts and to make sure that they got enough cash reserves to make sure they’re saving for the kid’s college or for retirement. So it’s about goals. And anybody that’s looking to, I mean we’re not a budgeting app, so the one thing I’ll tell you is— and I’m kind of afraid to say it here, is that we don’t budget. We achieve goals.

The way that I see people budgeting is counter intuitive. They look at their income. They look at their expenses. And then whatever is left at the end of that is what they allot towards goals. And that’s not how we’d approach things. You tell us what your goals are and the system will make that a priority and if you don’t have enough left to meet those goals, then they’ll guide you on what expenses to adjust. Because, we don’t take it for granted that your $150 dollar cable bill is more important than you saving for a kid’s college. So—

Rob: You know what that reminds me of, is Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.

Tom White: Yeah.

Rob: One of the things he says is begin with the end in mind. That’s kind of what struck me because you’re saying yes, you’ve got a cable bill, but let’s start with your end goals, and they probably aren’t cable every month. I mean, you may have cable and that’s fine but that’s the approach iQuantifi takes. It looks at your goals to make sure you’re achieving those and if you’re not, it’ll address them. Then, if there’s money left over you can pay for cable.

Tom White: Yeah. We usually always use Starbucks as an example—

Rob: You’re speaking my language when you talk Starbucks. I’m just going to tell you right now.

Tom White: Yeah. So you know it doesn’t matter to me if you spend $300 a month at Starbucks as long as you’re on pace to meet your goals. But, when people hear that, they go, “What?” The reason why people feel guilty about that $5 latte or whatever, is because they don’t know how much they need for their goals. So start with your goals. Figure out the assumptions of your goals and what it takes. Then, if you’re on pace and you’re funding it based on the assumptions then go and spend whatever money is left. Live your life. Enjoy it. But you can enjoy it not having the guilt and not having the worry because you know your plan is in place. That’s the philosophy.

Rob: Right. Let me ask you this… I spent some time on your site using a sort of a demo account that’s already repopulated with some information and that’s been very helpful. And you’ve got the timeline which is—and again I’ll do a screenshot of this for folks to see in the show notes. Anyway, you’ve got a very nice way of looking at goals. One thing I wonder though… I’m a huge fan of dashboards. It’s one of the reason I use Personal Capital so much—

Tom White: Yeah.

Rob: Which, of course, focuses on investing more. But to me, their investing dashboard is as good as anything I’ve seen. Do you guys have anything like that? Not with respect of investing but with respect to financial planning in mind for the site?

Tom White: Actually, as we speak, that’s something that’s being designed right now. Yes. We will have that. The dashboard that we have in mind is going to be very much about goals and not just about seeing what accounts you have. It’s all about in terms of you knowing that you’re on pace and anything that needs to be adjusted and new information or new advice. So that’s what’s going to be the focus on the dashboard. It may be a little bit different from what most people are used to. But yes, that’s in the road map here, short-term.

Rob: That would be great.

Tom White: I’m glad you asked.

Rob: Again, that’s one of my weaknesses—I love dashboards. It’s just nice to get a snapshot, in a very meaningful way, an insight into your finances.

Tom White: Interestingly enough, we kind of had an internal debate about that because I wasn’t sure if I really wanted a dashboard. Not because it wasn’t a good visual, but the way I view iQuantifi… iQuantifi is not like Facebook where we expect the customer to be on it every day. You do what you need to do whether you transfer money or you open an account or apply for something. Then that’s it until the next time. Go live your life. That’s what it’s all about. So I didn’t necessarily want something that required somebody to come in everyday to see what their new balance is, particularly for long-term accounts or investments. What the value is today is irrelevant to what it’s going to be or what it’s intended for. That was a little bit of how I viewed the dashboard. But, you know, at the end of the day we are doing one and I think it’s a good thing.

Rob: So, what convinced you to do it? Your reservations make sense to me although I look at this stuff all the time so maybe ’m guilty of overanalyzing, but I know a lot of people aren’t. So what changed your mind?

Tom White: One was the fact that we’re opening up our technology to institutions to where they’re going to license our software. And within that ecosystem of say a bank, insurance company or investment firm, an online ecosystem— we needed to have one because it would incorporate other aspects of that institutions online digital offerings. So it’s natural at that point to have us use it as well.

Rob: Well, that makes sense. Alright, well, listen… I appreciate your time and sharing with us iQuantifi. Folks can go directly to your site iQuantifi.com, and I’ll leave a link to it in the show notes as well. But before I let you go, one last question. Do you have any favorite personal finance books, blogs or websites? Or things that you read or have read that you think folks would benefit from?

Tom White: Yeah. I’m asked that all the time by my clients. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t really have a favorite, personal finance book per se, but there’s one book that may be the closest thing to personal finance that I recommend and that is, The Millionaire Next Door.

Rob: Okay!.

Tom White: At this point it’s about 14 years old, I think. To me, that is the best book in regards to personal finance. Then for investing is, The Intelligent Investor. There’s nothing better than that. Those are my two.

Rob: Yeah, I’ve read them both. They’re both great books. Good. Alright, well listen… I really appreciate your time today. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Tom White: Yes. Thank you very much Rob. I appreciate it.


Topics: Podcast

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